Honoring excellence in educationMay 13, 2013
Forward in the Fifth has awarded the 2013 Appalachian Leaders in Education (AppLE Awards) to eight individuals and one student organization on a leading South Central Kentucky college campus for their work to advance education in the region.
The first-ever Lee and Eleanor Rose Ambassador Award, named after longtime Forward in the Fifth board member Lee Rose and his wife, was presented to Pulaski County business and community leader Chuck Coldiron for his efforts to promote literacy.
Other recipients of this year’s AppLE Awards honoring excellence in education were:
- Educator (Early Childhood)—Rhonda Crigger, assistant principal, Southside Elementary School, Pike County
- Educator (K-12 teacher)—Lana Swartz, head of the science department and teacher, Menifee County High School, Frenchburg
- Educator (K-12 support staff)—Debbie Joseph Smith, coordinator of Family Resource Youth Services Center, Carr Creek Elementary School, Knott County
- Educator (K-12 administrator)—Jon Day, guidance counselor, Hazard High School, Perry County
- Educator (Higher Education)—Regina French, instructor, Adult Education, Bath County
- Community Leader—Bob Hutchison, business leader, Johnson County
- Parent/Parent Group—Kim Moore, volunteer and academic team coach, Somerset Christian School, Pulaski County
- Student/Student Group—Bonner Scholars, a service and leadership program for college students at Lindsey Wilson College (LWC), Adair County
“Today highlights the immense talent and desire of adults and students alike found within our region,” Jim Tackett, executive director of Forward in the Fifth, said in making the award presentations. “It is with this passion and attitude that we will transform Southern and Eastern Kentucky into greater educational excellence.”
The winners of the AppLE Awards were announced and recognized at Forward in the Fifth’s Education Leadership Day on Monday, May 13, at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. More than 120 people attended the event and helped celebrate the accomplishments of these leaders in education.
Lee and Eleanor Rose Ambassador Award
Coldiron initiated the first “Read Pulaski County” literacy event in 2011 and expanded that idea, with the help of sponsors, to include a statewide literacy celebration earlier this year at Rupp Arena in Lexington. The event, “Feed the Mind—Kentucky,” drew 4,500 students with a special appearance by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear.
More than 900 students from 11 schools in Pulaski County attended a separate “Feed the Mind” literacy event on April 10 at The Center. Students received a free pizza party and complimentary book to take home and read.
The Lee and Eleanor Rose Ambassador Award acknowledges efforts expanding beyond county borders to promote education.
2013 AppLE Awards
The AppLE Awards were started in 2012 by Forward in the Fifth to celebrate excellence in education by recognizing individuals who work to accomplish the nonprofit organization’s mission: to increase the educational attainment levels for all in the region.
“We are pleased to honor our community leaders and educators with Forward in the Fifth AppLE Awards,” said board chairman Dr. Dessie Bowling. “These exceptional leaders work diligently every day to motivate, inspire, and encourage people to have confidence in themselves and the amazing things they accomplish.”
“This year’s award winners are to be commended for continuing to enhance educational progress in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” added U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), who helped launch Forward in the Fifth in 1986. “We’re tapping into great ideas from energized educators across the region for new opportunities in preparing our students for post-secondary education and a bright future.”
New Voices in Education contest winners
Ethan Morton, a middle school student at Harlan Independent, and the high school video production class at Letcher County Central were announced as the winners of the New Voices in Education video contest. Their winning video submissions and top picks from other student-generated videos from the 20 contest entries were shown at the Education Leadership Day event.
Forward in the Fifth partnered with the University of Pikeville and Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) to launch the student video contest to draw attention to the progress of education in the Appalachian region of Kentucky.
Following the awards presentation, several educational initiatives in place across the region were highlighted by students and educators during a reception.